WHILE New Year's Morn east breast with joy inspires,
And Friends and Kinsmen croud your social fires;
And Goodness longs her treasures to impart;
Shall not your News Boy (my dear Patrons say)
Join in the general gladness of the day?
And shall he not with Gratitude receive
The boon that smiling Bounty waits to give?
Yes - for pleas'd Memory shall again renew
The scenes my toil has offer'd to your view:
Since on theopening of the last blest Year,
I wish'd you joy, and met with hearty Cheer.
How by our MUSEUM have you been amus'd
As every week its Pages you perus'd!
Where Narrative, and Sentiment, and Song,
Vary the Column, and the Treat prolong.
There have you read of those who knew to love,
Of those who Friendship's extacies could prove,
Of joys Domestic, and of Public Strife,
Of Fires Calamitous, of Death, of Life,
Of TREATIES form'd to make us blest - likewise
Of vessels captured by our dear Allies!!!
And oft the Muse intent to make you gay,
Has giv'n you many a witty jocund Lay;
And sometimes too with Elegiac sweep
Has struck her Lyre to tones that made you week.
Nor have the Deeds of GALLIA been forgot;
How her victorious Veterans have fought,
Compell'd fell Tyranny's base clan to yield,
Or drove the frighted hirelings from the Field:
How FREEDOM led her Heroes to the fight,
Nerving their arms with more than usual might;
And spreading wide her Hosts across the sea,
Astonish'd Britain's Navy made her prey!
- But to return - My Patrons ay the same,
The Usual New-Year's gift I come to claim,
I come the glowing with sincere to give,
And from your hands a blessing to receive.
Ah me! - since last I saw this festive Day
How many a generous Friend has past away;
Smitten by dire Contagion's ruthless dart
How has the life-blood chill'd round many a heart
That then was warm'd with Friendship and with Glee,
That then was ope'd to Charity, and me;
They knew my constant cares, my faithful toils,
And well repaid them with their fostering smiles.
- But now they sleep in Death - Oh let me find
My dear surviving Patrons doubly kind;
Oh let your News-Boy in his Gladness boast,
That tho' some Friends are gone, he has not lost.
And may the gracious POWER who gave us breath,
The Potent Arbiter of Life and Death,
May he your Wealth and Happiness increase,
And send you Health, and Love, and dove-like Peace.
And may your News-Boy offer you his Lay,
Grateful and Joyous, the next New Year's Day.
January 1, 1796.